Finding Historic Detailing in a Serene Setting

Finding Historic Detailing in a Serene Setting

When Gayle Nelson moved to Baltimore on a whim in 1978 to work at a new gourmet bakery, she never anticipated making the city a permanent destination.

“I’d never been to Maryland and knew nothing about Baltimore. I landed in Mt. Vernon and immediately loved it,” said Nelson. She had grown up on Cape Cod and was excited to escape small town life. Big city living was a great fit.

“In my first year here, I met many people who I am still close friends with today – people from different places and diverse professions who opened my eyes to life beyond what I had known on the Cape,” said Nelson.

When Nelson decided it was time to settle down and buy a home, she chose a 3-story rowhome across the street from Patterson Park, in Southeast Baltimore and moved in with her two dogs.

“In the late 1990’s, it was cheaper to buy a home than to rent,” said Nelson, “and I loved having the park right outside my window.”

She met many other neighbors and dog lovers walking through the park and saw the community improve greatly over the years. But as the area became more popular, it also became more congested.

“By 2016 I was ready to downsize to something a little smaller, in a location that was a little quieter,” said Nelson.

She decided to stay on the east side of the city, looking for homes in the Hamilton and Lauraville areas, but ultimately, she was drawn to Belair-Edison.

Nelson received home ownership counseling through the Southeast CDC. As an employee of the Baltimore City Housing Authority, she was able to get down payment and closing assistance and she also received grant funds through the Maryland Mortgage Program.

Her newly renovated, 2-story, garaged home featured modern amenities, but historic details had been preserved—stained glass transoms, hardwood floors with double-cherry inlays and beautiful radiator covers.

“This home exceeded my expectations. I wanted 2 bathrooms and easy parking on a quiet street, but I wasn’t anticipating the abundance of natural light or the beauty of watching deer in the park across the street,” said Nelson.

Both Gayle and her Boston Terrier Patsy enjoy the walking paths in nearby Herring Run Park so much that they often invite old friends from Patterson Park to join them.

“I use the covered deck in back all the time,” said Nelson. “It has a koi pond and foliage that attracts all types of birds and butterflies. I frequently invite friends over for cocktails and dinner and they are always surprised by how serene it is.”

After just six months, Nelson says she has met a great group of neighbors and already feels very much at home. And although she’s farther from work, her commute takes less time because she can avoid the main downtown streets.

“I’ve been recommending Belair-Edison to co-workers who are looking to buy a home. These homes have great value at a lower price point, and there are good public and parochial school options for families.”

As the holidays approach, Nelson is looking forward to decorating her first Christmas tree in her new home.